Disclaimer: This blog is less than friendly, be warned.
I was thinking
in my haphazard way
about how I thought
adults should communicate
honestly, with dignity
about their feelings
hurting the person
they fell out of love with.
Honesty and emotions don’t
mix well, you might say.
Or, of course emotions can
and should be expressed
Well, what if you feel
trapped, tricked and manipulated?
What if you have been used?
What if you have served
someone else’s purposes
and you no longer feel like
your ethics, feelings or
You say, ” You signed up for it.”
I say, ” I just didn’t want to have a bastard child.”
I didn’t know how our culture was changing.
I did not want to be shunned.
Remember I was raised in THE CHURCH.
It really can never be left in small caps.
THE CHURCH preaches fire and brimstone,
damnation to sinners, more old testament, than new.
I was going to go to hell.
I wore a beige suit.
I could never wear white.
I was not pure. My thinking
was obviously slanted (ape-shit.)
I thought I would never marry.
NEVER breed, never be monogamous.
What? A god fearing girl was sinning
knowing that eventually when I died
I would suffer for what I had done.
Little did I know,
I didn’t need to die to suffer.
I was honest. I expressed my true feelings
and I guess that hurt his pride.
I don’t think he really has true feelings
or he wouldn’t have punished our
children to punish to me.
I see why people
live in compounds
hiding from their pasts.
I know why women
leave their children
running in fear.
I know why she
advised me to,
“just leave now,
before it gets ugly.”
Contradictorily, I was also
raised to believe that I was
a female creature with equal rights.
Though, for some unknown reason
I was supposed to need
a male partner to provide security for me.
I was the largest baby of my family,
I was the strongest at birth.
I was normal sized, but I could run fast.
Almost as fast as my older brothers.
They even treated me like I was
a lesser creature, because I was a
girl, missing some three key parts.
I never knew why I had to learn to cook
and clean and sew and look pretty.
I made my mother teach us all
the same things. I was stubborn.
I gave her fits. I can sew,
but I create too much tension
then the bobbin turns into a hairball and
my turn on the machine is up.
As a result I am very good
at untying knots and making knots.
I can crochet and macrame.
My great-grandmother taught me that.
Shhh, don’t tell anyone.
There will be no crochet
dashikis here in this house
I didn’t like the fashion shows
Mom was in at her sewing club.
My brothers and father all participated
and loved the attention in their
stylish homemade threads.
Mom could make any costume.
I wet my pants in terror,
rather than set foot on the runway,
but got dragged on it anyway-
after she cleaned me up.
She had to walk with me
in order to get me to move.
I wasn’t joking about being dragged.
What was wrong with me?
What made me so abnormally timid.
I had recurring nightmares about that event
it never ended any better than the
way it occurred in reality.
“Gasp, Is that her daughter? Oh, she’s so cute.
look at her hair, she’s just adorable.”
Absolute Terror, that was my biggest fear
to have real people seeing me
when I couldn’t see them,
but I could hear them and their comments.
I was walking through a haze on the edge of a cliff.
The ground could have fallen away at any moment
I would have been in free fall.
Nobody checked my vision until third grade.
I’m very near sighted. Actually, I don’t
remember faces from my childhood
I remember hands, necks and feet.
I have a memory of yelling “mommy”
when I was lost in a store, I was always
lost in a store, I never paid attention,
I hugged the first pair of legs that came my way
the shape felt wrong, but they were warm
and soft, caring hands told me it was not
my mommy’s pair of legs. My mom came running
ready to do battle, I was in tears
again as usual. They were always
having to call me over the load speaker.
I stared at the ground so I wouldn’t trip
I used to fall a lot, I even fell down
the basement stairs once. That was a trip.
I’ve blacked out how many fashion shows
I ruined for my mother. She thought I
would enjoy the praise like she did,
I would have preferred to be
playing with mud pies in my back yard
digging for worms, doing cartwheels and
staring at the sky as I landed flat on my back
watching the world go round and round
I never could see the shapes in the clouds
I thought my brothers were teasing me,
so I made things up,
“That one looks like a cow, moo.”
I refused to go to a cotillion,
dancing with people who
wanted to get to know me
know where I came from,
what kind of church I went to.
I refused to go to a Black college,
that was up there on my list of
groups of people who
tormented me as a child
because I sounded like I was white.
Not very rational but anxiety inspired behavior
Of, course, had I joined a sorority
as my mother had planned
I would have been around other
blacks who sounded the same way I did.
What the hell, did I know
I was just running scared
as THEE freak of nature
Taller than most of the
boys in my high school,
shortest child in my family,
but taller than our parents
played piano and
classical string bass,
sang renaissance music and
acappella madrigals and
Christmas carols in French,
Italian, German, English and Spanish,
spoke French, sculpted in clay,
painted, played with fire in metal
wrote short stories, inhaled books
had BIG GLASSES and BIG HAIR,
skinny as a string bean and
flat chested as an ironing board
Had surgery on my feet between ages 11-14
And No, I refused to join ROTC
I’m somebody’s poster child
My father enjoyed the company while
he worked under our car, a Plymouth Fury III
I called it the boat.
You could have fit
six kids in the back seat
all without a seatbelt
Having had Girly, I understand now.
She is in the process of potty training herself.
I’m just tall and hand her things she can’t reach.
I just don’t know why we are created
to be so strong, yet we have hormones that fuck with us
at just the wrong times and we are supposed to submit
to injustice and accept what we are given no matter what we feel.